Before gaga first opened her mouth or was even born for that matter – there was one women who was pushing fashion boundaries with her totally original sense of style, colour and combination – this woman is Anna Piaggi. In discovering Anna’s “D.P.’s” doppie pagine (double pages) amongst my mum’s Italian Vogues in the late 80’s – it was then I decided that this was the kind of woman I wanted to be, the kind of wardrobe I needed to have…(BlackDot World Archive was surely inspired by Anna and her ensembles) from the top of her extravagant headwear – by Stephen Jones mostly, through those fingerless gloves in every conceivable colour to the tip of the cane she almost always carries. The beauty about Anna Piaggi is that in transforming some of the world’s most important fashion pieces through the ages in her own and lets say rather chaotic way she totally reinvents their form and fashion, creating new silhouettes and new style – this to me is what real style is all about.
Karl Lagerfeld was so inspired by Piaggi’s limitless imagination and style that he sketched her magnificent ensembles throughout the seventies resulting in his second book – “Lagerfeld’s sketchbook: Karl Lagerfeld’s illustrated fashion journal of Anna Piaggi” – which you can purchase here. Anna’s own publication entitled Fashion Algebra – a collection of her infamous collages and spreads for Italian Vogue as mentioned earlier, mixes couture, architecture, music and personal musings.
It’s hard to pigeonhole Anna’s talent – stylist, collector, trend writer, muse and editor, her colourful hand throwing sugar-dust on many important designers, stylists and taste makers over the years, this influence continues and was celebrated at the V + A in 2006 with an exhibition devoted to her iconic style – see image from the exhibition below. Muse of both Manolo Blahnik and Karl Lagerfeld, one-time editor of Italian Vogue, creator of the avant-garde fashion magazine Vanity, superstar fashion maverick – Anna Piaggi’s style knows no boundaries.
Anna and her late husband, Italian photographer Alfa Castaldi 1969.
Anna Piaggi’s vintage couture archive is rivalled by no other allowing her the luxury to never appear in public in the same outfit twice – how very nice. Her style, her vision, her archive – Anna Piaggi, I salute you!
Anna getting down at the IFW 2010….(bloody awful song but check that outfit and those moves!)